Sanskriti Haat :  Celebrating culture, heritage and social commitments

Sebak Bhattacharjee

An only weeny hole can ruin a huge ship of dream as mentioned  in one of the oldest bengali collections of verses  named 'Monosa mongol ' where  through a very tiny hole, that  left intentionally in the highly protected room  the particular snake enters  and ravages the family by striking the hero named Lakhindar. Besides, Entertainment is an obvious part of life, but life is not only about entertainment. So there is much possibility of entering malpractices into society by the name of entertainment which apparently give pleasure or mental relaxation to someone for the time being,but eventually dismantle his peaceful and organised life. In this context we remember that dialogue "Entertainment, entertainment and entertainment " in the lips of the female protagonist, the role name Silk (played by Vidya Balan ) in the popular Bollywood movie "Dirty Picture " which means everything can be sacrificed for entertainment. At the end of the movie we saw the consequence where she loses the track of life and commits  suicide. Now coming to the main focus of the topic that in our society lots of cultural malpractices  like DJ nights, casinos, various types of perversions, drug addiction etc. enter into our society through those loopholes and camouflages under the word of "entertainment" to our culture which never matches our environment and climate also. Sanskriti Haat is a well-planned, deeply thought project to close those holes. Now, how will the open air come! Will there not be suffocation! Yes, Life without entertainment is absurd. There must be entertainment in cultural practices, but this entertainment is by no means devoid of social responsibility.

Three pronged missions are kept under the consideration behind the designing of Sanskriti haat. First of all is to restore the self-identity of an individual and society. This is a big crisis for the new generation of new era of globalisation. It's a general trend  to gather worldwide knowledge at present day.B ut  this is also important to find  oneself's own in this global identity.

Secondly to attach the cultural practices with the livelihood of individuals or society.

Thirdly, persuasion to project Sanskriti haat as a spot of cultural tourism.

"Sanskriti haat" of Sen para, Nandan nagar is not only a place of mere singing, dancing or performing different cultural activities, this kind of activities happen in various stages  in the city-based auditoriums or elsewhere in regular mode. Sanskriti haat is something more than those events. It is a reflection of the society with its overall structure along with the identity of  the persons residing there.  In this particular climate and cultural and societal environment what should we eat, that keeps me healthy, what should we wear that gives me comfort, what should we sing or dance that match the sound of our nature, wave of our air, all those guidelines are shown in the various events of  "Sunday haat", the other name of socio-cultural responsibility that leads a man towards proper direction. In this diversified multi-cultural land like India, uncountable traditions,  customs and rich heritage  are prevalent among the different social groups which give our country a chromatic picture. Our responsibility lies to maintain this fabric of colour by recalling our own history,  our metaphors, our work-style, our social relationships, our own folklores, proverbs, our heritage. Our history which new generation will be more attached to the concept of the motherland – their culture, their past and heritage as well as the concept of social welfare. Keeping an eye on those basic thoughts "Sanskriti Haat " is designing and decorating it's day's events.

Sanskriti haat is an applied part of the mission of Bangla Sanskriti Boloy. This international organisation  started its journey by organising an  online convention in the year 2020, the pandemic year. A good number of delegates from different countries joined  this convention. By the course of time  the organisation started  to spread its activities accordingly. The five-year plan was adopted from the International Conference of this organization last year. According to the plan a cultural village called as "Sanskriti gram " has been taken up followed by a cultural fair named "Sanskriti haat" was established.

The first Saptahik Sanskriti Haat, which is located at our adopted village "Sangskrti gram" of Senpara of Debram Gram Panchayet adjacent to Nandan nagar, Agartala has been inaugurated by our respected Chief Minister Prof Dr. Manik Saha on 10th December of 2023. Now, twenty eight successful sundays  have been passed that Sanskriti Haat is playing its role very carefully to aware the members alongwith the visitors to remain more attached  to one's own tradition and culture which gives them more pleasure, more happiness, more mental satisfaction and more comfort than a DJ night or mishmash cultural show.

Initially a question arose among the people, what happens there! Now everyone knows that sanskriti haat is designed with a nice combination of Sonajhuri haat of Gurudev's Santiniketan and different local and other important social festivals. "Poush parbon",  "Binapani utsab", "international mother language day," "Vasanta utsab", "Rabindra jayanti," "Najrul jayanti," "gajon and so many festivals related to Bengali speaking region have already been celebrated there in a befitting manner. More or less two thousands of people gathered in every festivals. Lots of festivals are also to do in the coming days.

Sunday afternoon means traditional dance, music, games, food and lots of fun. It ends with the setting sun of that particular day. Definitely it is entertainment, but paves the way of livelihood of adjacent rural bengali and tribal families who are selling their homemade products in Sanskriti Haat through self help groups. More or less 36 numbers of SHG groups run separate stalls of bengali and indigenous food items there. Each group earns Rs. 7000/- to 14000/- per month. For the promotion of Bengali dance form 'Jhumur' and 'Dhamail' Bangla boloy started to train the girls of local villages  and adjacent tea gardens. Now they are completely ready to perform this professionally. Accordingly they are performing those dance forms in different government and private social programmes like Book fair, industry fair or wedding ceremony etc which encourage them towards the cultural practice and side by side enable them to earn a good amount. When the local females got engaged in SHG stalls, girls and boys in cultural programs, the male parts are not far away. They also started to sell the fresh vegetables, fruits in the Sangskrti haat and  spend the sunday afternoon with their friends,family and relatives together and back home with a smile of satisfaction.  These are bangla boloy 's commitments towards the society to elevate the financial conditions of rural people through cultural practices because the motto is "Live and let live".

Culture is not only about entertainment, it could never be without social responsibility.  Visitors are of opinion that it's a place which manages the stress and anxiety of young generations, eradicates the depression of middle age life, and stimulates child psychology softly and gently. Every Sanskriti day the programme starts with local games like "golla chhut ", "rumal churi ", "kanamachi bho bho " and so many more in which the entire community present in the  field takes part, especially the childrens. This is the only quality time of the week when a modern kid of this technology based life doesn't behave stubborn for Mobile Phone or video game. They play  together physically, run sportingly, laugh loudly and lastly don't want so called soft drink bottles, they enjoy one glass of homemade lemon juice, healthy roasted raw mango juice or pudina sarbat from SHG stalls. A question may come what is the participations of local indigenous people in this  magnificent project work. Anybody can witness our tribal friends preparing  or selling "bangoi and bhorta" in food stalls or displaying "pachhra or riya" to the customers irrespective of Bengalis or Tripuris in sanskriti haat. Being conscious about communal harmony tribal folk dance  Hajagiri or Mamita are also performed often. The name "Sanskriti haat " refers to each and every culture. Bangla boloy will come forward whenever anyone's cultural practice gets disturbed whether it may be Bengali or others.Almost every Sunday Haat are graced by the presence of VIPs, cultural personalities or Visitors from outer states. Hence, an expectation is rises to see Sanskriti haat as one of the most refreshing spot of the state.

The write up  wouldn't be completed if the enthusiastic positive approach of the young brigade is not mentioned. The 'Yubas'  of Bangla boloy are performing their duties  under the guidance of the senior members with sincerity. It is a matter of happiness that those Yubas are enjoying their own way of culturally rich lifestyle and self identity. According to the local MLA Shri Ratan Chakraborty this area of nandan nagar was a terrible place of drug addiction once  etc. But after the opening of Sanskriti haat the scenario has been totally changed. Groups youths are coming here and joining Jhumur and dhamail dance with all. Gradually they are getting habituated to local food items.When a modern mother fails to wean off her child from having  fast food in regular basis, Sanskriti haat comes forward to do this delicate task.

Sanskriti haat started its journey with no permanent source of funds. Till date it is facing financial hardship to run the programmes. But this is only the sincerity and dedication of the members towards the ideological basis of Bangla boloy which helps to continue the Sanskriti Haat. It's true that  miles to go; and the way is craggy, but we have faith in everyone's best wishes, by which twenty seven Sundays have already been celebrated gracefully. In the end, our appeal to all culturally conscious people, each and every person who are committed to the society, who the most significant impetus of the Sanskrit haat is to join this never ending journey of happiness with saptahik sanskriti haat. Only your presence can make it a great success and also make all of us as a perfect cultural and social community as well.There is a big hope that Bangla Sanskriti Boloy must be able to reach it's aspiring destination which we call " a new phase of cultural Renaissance ".